If you have an unmatched love for cookies, perfecting your home-made cookies skills is all you need. There are several recipes out there for all kinds of cookies, and America’s Test Kitchen wasn’t left out with their show on how to make the perfect chocolate chips cookies. They clearly state that with chocolate chip cookies, you have to ensure that the insides remain chewy and moist as you also keep the edges crisp. I must say that balancing the three isn’t as easy as it sounds, but when you carefully follow this America’s Test Kitchen chocolate chip cookies recipe, it gets simpler with time.
America’s Test Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
- 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 14 tbsps. unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cups packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tsps. vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup chopped pecans or chopped toasted walnuts
You’ll be using the middle position for this recipe, so first adjust the oven rack, after which you preheat the oven to 375 degrees. You’ll also need to have your baking sheets ready by lining them with parchments paper. The recommended size is an 18 by 12 inches baking sheet, so get two of this ready and set aside. Whisk the all-purpose flour together with the baking soda in a medium-sized bowl and set this aside as well
After that, heat 10 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat until it has melted completely, which should take about 2 minutes. Let it continue cooking as you swirl consistently until the melted butter turns into a golden-brown colour, releasing a nutty aroma. At this point, remove it from heat, then transfer the browned butter to a different heat proof bowl which should be equally large enough. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into the melted set and stir until the solid ones are completely melted.
Combine both your brown and granulated cups of sugar, vanilla and salt together with the butter in the bowl then whisk until evenly mixed. Add the egg and yolk then whisk until no sugar lumps are visible. Give this mixture about 3 minutes to rest, before you proceed to whisk again for another 3 seconds. Please note that this has to be repeated for two or more times until your mixture is smooth, thick and shiny. Once you’re certain with that, add the flour mixture you set aside earlier then stir in for about 1 minute. Stir in the chocolate chips, nuts or any other add-on that you’ll be using, the same which also ensures that no flour pockets are still visible in the dough.
The recipe is for 16 cookies, so divide the dough into 16 portions, and each should be approximately 3 tablespoon full. However, if you have a cookie scoop, the dough will be easier for you to divide. Arrange the pieces on the previously lined baking sheets, ensuring that the pieces are placed at least 2 inches apart. With such spacing, a single sheet can accommodate up to 8 pieces, and that will leave you with two occupied baking sheets.
Now let’s get the baking started, and for this you’ll need to bake one batch at a time, until the cookie pieces turn golden brown. This takes about 10-15 minutes and nothing longer than that in order to maintain the puffiness of the cookies at the center, and also to keep the edges soft. Within that time, it’s also important to keep checking on the progress and rotating the baking sheet halfway to ensure even-baking. Once the first batch is done, transfer them to a wire rack to let them cool as you repeat the process for the next set.
The reason why it’s encouraged to use large baking sheet is that you can only bake a single tray at a time. Having two or more trays in the oven limits the chances of even browning, considering that the one at the middle section will be ready ahead of the rest. Now with smaller sizes, you’ll end up with several batches, and this also means that you’ll need to do several baking rounds. This will take some time and also isn’t effective in energy consumption.
Tips on How to Make the Best Chocolate Chips Cookies
Now, here are some of the key things you should consider in order to bake the ideal moist, crisp and chewy chocolate chips cookies:
- Melt the Butter
One mistake most people do is using butter directly from the fridge, which doesn’t give consistently-made pastries. You have to ensure that your butter is soft enough, and that’s why it’s recommended to get it out hours before you start preparing the dough. However, melting it has also been found to be another way to help give your cookies the chewiness you’re looking for.
Professionals do recommend electric convection ovens when it comes to baking cookies, but the thing is, not everyone has that addition in their kitchen. This is why I insist that all that matters is how conveniently you can regulate the temperatures, irrespective of the oven you’re working with. That being said, just get an effective oven-friendly thermometer to help check the temperatures from time to time, to ensure that it’s not baking either too cold or too hot.
Unfortunately, this is one of those recipes with minimal ingredient substitutions and so you should try and stick to what America’s Test Kitchen highlights. However, this is only if you want the cookies to turn out exactly like the ones they did, otherwise, you can customize after a number of trials, based on what stands out for you. You also have the option of going slower on the ingredients measurements depending on your recommended intake, especially when it comes to sugar and salt. That’s why you can also boldly taste the dough to confirm if the amounts used are to your liking.
- Exact Measuring
Measuring dry ingredients require one to be extra careful and that’s why you have to ensure that you use the correct measuring cup and method, especially when it comes to the flour. However, if you have been doing it over and over again, I believe that you have already mastered the method that never fails you. The only exception here is in regards to the chocolate chips because with this you can add more to give you a more filling experience with every bite.
- Brown vs. White Sugar
There’s always the option of using either brown sugar or white granulated sugar and at the same time, you can also ratio their quantities so that you use a mixture of the two for your cookies. Now whichever one you prefer, here’s something to guide the choice you make, which translates to the baked products you’ll end up with. The moisture component available in brown sugar will in the end give your cookies the extra softness and chewiness. White sugar on the hand is dry, and that’s what helps the cookies spread. So if you want a combination of the two, you can still use both like we did in the recipe, only that brown sugar should be more.
Something about cookies is that you really have to keep trying in order to perfect your skills. Another thing you need to pay attention to is how you store your cookies after baking. As we have seen, this recipe gives a total of 16 cookies which you don’t have to clear in a single sitting. Refrigerating your leftover cookies shouldn’t be your first option because all you need is an airtight bag or container which will still keep them soft, without necessarily changing their flavour. On the other hand, you can make enough dough for a couple of baking sessions after which you can freeze the rest that won’t be used immediately so that you only feed on freshly-baked cookies each and every time.